Valdosta Choral Guild prepares to start a new season next week with a new director.
The community singing group begins rehearsals Monday. Leading these rehearsals will be Kevin Jackson, serving as the Guild’s music director and conductor, said Daniel Folsom, a Guild spokesman.
Jackson “grew up in Warner Robins, Ga., before attending the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University where he earned his undergraduate degree in music education,” Folsom notes. “Mr. Jackson has served as the director of choral activities at Camden County High School in Kingsland, Ga., for the past six years.
“During his tenure at CCHS, Mr. Jackson’s choirs consistently received superior ratings in state festivals and competitions around the Southeast. His former students have been regularly selected to perform in the GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association) All-State Chorus ensembles and they have earned music scholarships at various universities.”
In Valdosta, Jackson will also be seeking his master’s degree in music performance in choral conducting at Valdosta State University.
“The candidates for director were interviewed by our selection committee,” Folsom said of the process of finding a new director/conductor. “They were asked many questions about their vision for the Guild, experience and music selection. The finalists went before the board for final selection.”
The Valdosta Choral Guild has been a Valdosta tradition for approximately 40 years. It presents two concerts per year: one in the spring, and a Christmas show in early December.
Through numerous rehearsals, as well as many of the members having worked together for years, the Choral Guild presents a concert of sharp harmonies and tremendous verve presented by mostly amateur voices. Yet, it is always looking for new members.
Currently, the Guild has 55 members but the number changes with each season, Folsom says. There are no auditions to join the Choral Guild.
The Guild rehearses weekly. Members will be preparing for the annual Christmas concert, scheduled for Dec. 8, 9, with music expected to include works by composers Anders Ohrwall, Rene Clausen, John Rutter, and Benjamin Britten.
Valdosta Choral Guild’s first rehearsal is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9, Messiah Lutheran Church, 500 Baytree Road. There is no vocal audition for this community chorus and membership is open to all interested singers of high school age and older.